Last night, I traveled back two decades to the trial of the century while watching FX’s compelling series The People Vs. Oj Simpson: American Crime Story. The show kept me glued to the screen for 90 minutes as the intense plot revealed new details surrounding the death of Nicole Brown Simpson from multiple vantage points.
I remembered exactly where I was when that “Not Guilty” verdict was read, and re-felt every mixed emotion. So allow me to walk you through what you need to know while watching the show.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The ensemble cast features recognizable talents playing recognizable people. Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as a convincing (albeit small-framed) OJ Simpson.
The last time I saw John Travolta in a major role, he was impersonating a woman on HairSpray, so I’m happy to see the actor shine as OJ’s attorney Robert Shapiro.
You will hear the names of popular reality TV characters Khloe, Kim, And Kourtney, since their dad Rob Kardashian (played by David Schwimmer) was on OJ’s defense team.
Courtney B. Vance rounds up the cast as a spot-on Johnnie Cochran.
EYE CANDY FACTOR
Unless John Travolta and Cuba Gooding Jr. gets your blood pumping, I would put the eye candy factor at a 0. BUT, the story is so good you won’t even be checking for on-screen BAEs
DATE POTENTIAL (IS IT ‘FX & CHILL-ABLE?’)
This is just the type of show you want to watch with your man or potential man. Not only do you both get to compare how you felt and where you were when the case broke (from white bronco to not guilty), but also you can also compare theories on who you think is guilty and why.
The OJ Simpson whodunit debate will expose your man’s deepest thoughts.
WHAT LIBATIONS YOU NEED ON DECK
Wine, preferably Malbec. I’m not sure if wine is ever not a good idea, but in this case, you will definitely need a little liquid lubrication to bring your blood pressure down.
The emotions for this show are even higher than normal television because you are re-living the drama all over again. The case sprung into the national spotlight in the midst of the LA riots, so you will be immediately triggered by the show’s depiction of racial tensions back then, while be reminded of our current fight.
Malcolm Jamal Warner, who plays OJ’s best friend AC Crowlings and accomplice to the whole runaway bronco scene, described what it was like reenacting that highly televised police chase:
“It’s very surreal. We knew we were making television, but there is something very surreal about looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing twenty cop cars behind you chasing you, especially being a black man,” the actor exclusively told Hello Beautiful.
Be prepared for a wild ride.
CAN I WATCH IT ALONE?
Yes, but why would you? This is a story that everyone feels some connection to. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script: celebrity star power intertwined with the gruesome murder of a beautiful woman, mixed with alleged crooked cops and a racially biased prosecution system–that’s the formula for weeks of real life entertainment.
Tune in to The People Vs. OJ Simpson on FX Tuesdays at 10/9c.